Tips to Help You Get the Best:
The Mediterranean diet places its emphasis on fresh and whole foods and so may not seem very easy to maintain on a budget. It’s okay to believe that you could have some increase in your purchase bills when you start exchanging packaged foods for fresh ones. Fresh, heart-friendly, whole grains and healthy fat, of course, comes with a price. But don’t worry, if you play it safe, the Mediterranean diet should not stop you from paying your bills.
To help relieve the tension on your pocket, here are some tips to help you achieve the best while adopting the Mediterranean diet on a budget.
Planning Ahead Is Key
You need to always plan ahead. When you are looking to make some great savings, it can only be possible when you plan in advance. Never go to the grocery store without a list in your hand. Having a shopping list will help you reduce waste and cut down your grocery bill. As much as you can, always try to avoid wastage.
Thicken Stews and Soups with Whole Grains
Italians use pearled barley a lot. It is found in most of its soups and stews, which provide volume and texture, along with a good dose of easily digested carbohydrates. There are also many other whole grains, such as heritage wheat varieties and rye berries that will work well.
You can also use whole grains to create tasty fillings for tomatoes and peppers. With a little mozzarella or gorgonzola, it can generate an intense gourmet flavor without spending large amounts of money.
Buy Frozen and Can Foods
Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are just as good as the fresh ones and better than none at all. They are not only cheaper than the fresh, but they also have a longer shelf life. This means you can easily stock them up when you find them in the store.
Improve Soft Dishes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For many people, organic vegetables are out of the question. Those perfect peppers, the traditional tomatoes and the artichokes in Whole Foods are there to annoy you, not to feed you. But it does not matter, because if you use high-quality olive oil, the most ordinary salads, potatoes, and pasta dishes can have a divine flavor.
Never compromise olive oil. In the Mediterranean diet, it is the ingredient that chefs cannot do without. With it, you can prepare beautiful Mediterranean dishes tasting really good, even if you sometimes rely on canned or frozen vegetables.
Eat More Plant-Based Foods
Regardless of the kind of diet it is, quality meat is usually a burden on the budget. But eating more of whole grains, vegetables, and legumes can save you a whole lot of money. These kinds of foods are cheaper than meat and are well encouraged by the Mediterranean diet too.
Even though it is not bad to occasionally have a treat of red meat, plant-based foods are the life of the Mediterranean diet. And that is why the diet is traditionally referred to as an “economic cuisine.” That is because it involves a very little amount of fish and meat.
Get Familiar and Change with Season
Knowing which fruits and vegetables in season is one of the friendly ways to maintain the Mediterranean diet. You easily save more money when you buy fruits and veggies when they are in season. They are often less expensive during this time, and also have more flavor. For instance, buying asparagus during the spring will be far cheaper than in the fall when it is out of season.
Do It Yourself by Growing Fresh Ingredients
Almost anyone can grow some ingredients in the Mediterranean diet. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can grow basil, cilantro, rosemary or sage on the edge of your window.
If you have a little space in the patio, you can really branch out, with everything from radicchio to eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and endives. Anyone who has not grown their own vegetables before will be surprised how fresh they taste.
If you want to eat a healthy diet, one great way to go is to adopt the Mediterranean diet. And you can also do it without spending a fortune. It only takes a little planning, some smart shopping, cooking knowledge, and gardening work. If a healthy heart and a longer life are the results, why delay?